Musing and Meandering on Jury Duty

Today I have jury duty. I'm looking forward to seeing what there is to see, but I can't get over the fact that to go and fulfill my civic duty, my basic human rights will be thrown out--that is, no firearms, metal detector search, no pocket knives, for heaven's sake!  Is it not counter-intuitive that to participate in this high process of civilization, they force us back to the technological level of the apes?  What did I do to earn your mistrust, o court of the land?

...and now I wonder what they'd do if I showed up wearing rose-tinted sunglasses, an unbuttoned shirt (all the way down), and a tie die bandana, and had something like Practical Home Explosives... for Fun AND Profit! as reading material for the wait...

Anyways, we'll see what happens.


String Beans

From the garden

to the grill



It wasn't that hard. All it took was mentioning that I saw some inexpensive LCD monitors on the internet, and my boss (who is an ebay addict) promptly went and found a 22 inch display for just over $100. It's on its way, and soon I'll have something than early 90's CRT technology... then, THE WORLD!

You. Will. Need. Eyebleach.

Varmint Count

My varmint count is not as impressive as JayG's Dead Goblin Count, which is rapidly approaching 200, but it is still climbing.

Anyway, it now stands at 4 skunks, 5 raccoons, and 1 squirrel. And I'm getting awfully tired of getting up in the morning and digging holes... but those raccoons need to step up their game if they want to keep in the lead. I know there's still a big one out there, I've seen its tracks in the garden... and these tracks are big enough to make me wonder if I need a bigger trap.


A bluesun-y PSA

School is starting people, and as my commute in any form and direction involves going through at least one school zone, I am noticing small children going to/coming from school. Be careful out there--no condition white for ANY drivers, right? Even you heartless conservatives... even if you don't have any compassion, just think of the massive inconvenience you'll have on your hands.

Look at that guy... he's such a poser.

Been looking for some new shorts over the course of the summer, and at Cabela's yesterday I found some on sale that looked pretty nice--nice big pockets all over, good fabric, and they actually go down to my knees, which is usually impossible to find as I have a 37 inch inseam. I generally go around looking like a goofy british safari tourist with those ridiculously short shorts (who likes short shorts? Not me...). So there were the pluses. The downside? They're camo. Actually, they're stupid camo--three shades of barely distinguishable green that wouldn't work as camouflage even if you were trying to hide in the jungle. I mean, they hardly work as a fashion statement. And why the heck would you want camo shorts? You've got the Irish-white legs sticking out below and a Hawaiian shirt on top--you are not hiding anything.

I bought them, and I think I like them, but I can't help but feel kinda stupid. "Huh huh, look at that guy with the stupid camo shorts. WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO HIDE FROM, POSER?"

*hangs head in shame*

Wha... jus... happened?

Alarm went off at 5:45--I remember hearing it, then rolling over and getting up. Getting up at 6:30. I just lost 45 minutes of my life and I have no idea where to start looking for them.

Blech. Must me Monday.

Here, some psych up music:

Aren't you proud of me? My first song posted first thing in the morning in like a week!


Salsa-maker's motto

When chopping chillies and peppers: "I will not rub my eyes! I will not rub my nose! Will not rub my eyes! I will not rub my nose!" etc.

Unless you like that burning sensation...


And now a song for all you east coasters

I know, I'm not original, but there's enough versions of Goodnight, Irene out there that I don't feel too guilty.

What a depressing song, by the way.


That is, Raisins in Progress:


We just collected about 5 gallons of grapes off our grape vine; soon to be dried into raisins. It took 45 minutes and both me and my mother to de-stim them all--that's a lot of grapes!

The weather

Today: High of 95 with 20% chance of afternoon thunderstorms. A month or so back the newspaper ran an article that rated good ol' Happy Valley as the place in the nation with the smallest chance of any natural disasters. So basically all you east coasters have to deal with worse weather, higher humidity, and you're a lot closer to Washington D.C.


Innocent (or not) bystander

There was no change in the trap this morning, so I left it set up during the day. But it turns out there are more than just raccoons and skunks in the neighborhood. This evening we found a dead squirrel that had trapped itself and died from the heat during the day. Still a varmint, so no big loss, but I should probably think about disarming it during the day so I don't catch someones stay poodle or something. As it is, the count now stands at 3 skunks, 5 raccoons, and 1 squirrel. And now the trap is set for the night; there are fresh coon tracks in the garden...

Licence plates

I was just wondering, does anyone else out there pay attention to the licence plates of the cars around you? I don't know why I do so much, but I don't think a car can go by me without me glancing at it to see if there's anything interesting. For example, on today's drive to work there were mostly just boring standard Colorado licence plates, but there was one old greenie truck plate and one Idaho plate that was some non-standard style (wasn't red white and blue).

I don't know why I do it--maybe because of my years living in Montana, which must have the highest percentage of vanity plates in the nation, or maybe I'm just crazy.

New Addition!

At work I've now got a Windows 7 machine (with a 15" Gateway 2000 (!) monitor, just like we had back in highschool), in addition to my little laptop and the ancient Windows 95 desktop.  I can actually see pictures in my CAD drawings now!

Little by little, I am drawing my boss out of the early 90's...  next on my list, does anyone have any good recommendations for inexpensive LCD monitors?

I forgot to mention

But sometime in the past week I passed 1500 posts on this here blog. 

Go me.


A Prayer

Lord, protect the widows and orphans, help modern medicine to find a universal cure for cancer, and keep me from ever, ever looking like someone out of "people of walmart" while grocery shopping. Amen.

I really need to sweep the office floor more often

Of course, "Once every 5 years" would be more often than what it's been getting.  Personally, I thought this was pretty good considering that it's one room over from a soil lab.

Book Lists

My lists are just as good as NPR's (in my entire objective and never inaccurate opinion), and even include concise reviews on why or why not I like a particular book!

Books of 2010

Books of 2011 [in progress]

I've got, um... quite a few books that need to be written up (the entire dragaeran universe by Steven Brust is a big one, roughly 30 books), that you can expect within a week maybe. Some of the books on my lists are even the same as the ones on NPR's, you know, um, just in case that sort of thing is a turn on for you. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

And what is wrong with all you people who haven't read The Princess Bride?

Dumb as a rock

Whatever varmint I've got out there needs to take remedial trap use; it just can't seem to figure out that to get to the FOOD you have to go through the HOLE.

Or, maybe what I've got is the mother of all raccoons, and it just can't fit in the hole?  "Looks like we're gonna need a bigger boat."


Marathoning it

Whew.  Just blew through about 150 blog posts in my reader backlog.  About 500 more to go, but if I'm going to be getting up at 5:30 in the morning to take care of my trapping project without innocent bystanders, I had better quit now.

And a question for you:  what is the blogetiquette for wanting to post a comment on something that is a week old?  Probably not appropriate, is it...  oh well, as the good book says, better to be thought a fool and silent than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!

That's the way these things work

Hay cut yesterday. Check. All the neighbors' hay cut today. Check. Black clouds moving rapidly this way. Check.

I ought to go and wash the truck just to seal the deal...

A brilliant product idea!

At work right now I'm digitizing some old contour maps (read: tracing using a computer), a process that involves clicking on the mouse a whole lot.  For example, one medium sized line is roughly 1000 clicks, and on this one map there are probably a couple hundred contour lines... and then there are about 9 map sections that will need to be done.  You do the math.

But I got to thinking, and realized that all this clicking is just too darn easy--you don't burn any calories or build up any muscle tone.  What someone needs to do is make a mouse that has a 10-pound button, that way, every time you click you're doing a rep--soon you'll have the beefiest index finger out of all your friends!  You can call it the EXRMOUSE! Just think of the commercials--a mouse beating up a cat, or some skinny guy doing pushups using only one index finger!

Should I apply for a patent? What do you think? Sure to be a best seller, eh?


You go away for a week, and there's a big kerfluffle, and then suddenly you're getting a bunch of blog traffic because of some sort of black list.  Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

I don't really understand, so I guess I need to delve deep into the depths of my reader backlog...

Close Call

I almost had to dig another hole this morning.  Something came by and rattled the trap trying to get to the bait (a handful of cat kibble, a shrimp shell and a slice of zucchini this time), but they couldn't figure it out before they tripped the door and closed it off.  They then proceeded to rattle it enough to knock the little dish with the bait in it over and then dug underneath the trap to get everything that fell out.  But as long as this endeavor  keeps the varmints from the corn and the chickens, I'll call it a win.

And the count remains at 3 skunks and 5 raccoons.



Just used up the last of the Gosling's Black Seal. So this is the obligatory "WHY IS THE RUM GONE?" post. Thought the rum isn't all gone; there's still the generic Bacardi, the good Mt. Gay, the Belizian Two-Barrel, and that disgusting coconut-flavored stuff. But the BLACK SEAL is gone!

Vacation Statistics


Vehicle: 2002 Ford F-150, 5.4L V8
Distance: 1830.7 miles
Gas: 105.5 gallons
Money Spent on Gas: $380.99
Mileage: 17.3 MPG [not half bad, the jeep would get ~19 on the highway]


Raindrops Counted: Sum total of 32 raindrops


Weddings: 2 attended
Nights in Tent: 2 nights
Church Potluck Picknicks: 1 attended
Days where Nothing Happened and I Sat on the Couch: 3 days
Books Read on Said Days: 4 read
Sporting Good Store Visits: 2 visits
Old Friends Seen: roughly... hundreds
Babies Seen: 1 baby
Movies Watched: 3 movies watched [Two of which were 300 and The Emperor's New Groove. I want to know what kind of movie it would be if you mashed those both together...]


Money Spent in the Support of Small Consumer-Good Terrorism©: $160.47
Colorado Sales Tax Saved: $11.63 [but it's the thought that counts!]
Money Spent on Random Knick-Knacks, Cheese Sticks, Drinks, etc.: $23.06 [best guess]
Total Money Spent, Including Gas: $576.15


Beer: 3 beers consumed
Cinnamon Rolls: 2 Caramel Almond Cinnamon Rolls Consumed [as big as a dinner plate, and for only $2.50 apiece!]
Peach Cobbler: roughly 5 servings consumed
Pie: 2 pieces of pie consumed
Cake: 6 different types of cake consumed
Brownies: 1 brownie consumed
Pork Chop Sandwiches: 1 Wop Chop consumed.

Gunnish Things

Number of Guns Fired: 4 guns fired
Caliber of Guns Fired: .22LR, .38SP, and 9mm
Rounds Fired: 18 rounds of .38, 29 rounds of 9mm, and roughly 200 rounds of 22 [not enough is the correct answer]

Computerish Things

Unread Emails: 41 unread emails
Unread Blog Posts in Google Reader: 600+ all told [you people are killing me here!]

Live Animals

Bald Eagles: 1 nesting pair
Pronghorn Antelope: 15 pronghorns seen
Most Number of Hawks Seen at One Time: 3 hawks at once
Skunks: 1 skunk seen [tried to charge my truck while I was going about 55 mph, cheeky little bugger]
American Bison: 1 herd of buffaloes seen
Cows: [you're joking right? you do know that both Montana and Wyoming have more cows than people, by a large margin?]


Pronghorn Antelope: 2 roadkill antelopes
Skunks: 2 roadkill skunks
Foxes: 1 roadkill foxes
Deer: 2 roadkill deers [that "s" was intentional, by the way]
Raccoons: lost count at 30[!] roadkill raccoons [I feel no remorse]

Closing Thoughts

It was a good vacation, if a bit more driving than is comfortable. And as always, the best part of a good vacation is coming home and being able to sleep in your own bed again.

New resolution

If the trap is going to continue being set, I really need to get up earlier than 6:30. There were people walking dogs and riding bikes everywhere this morning, making it difficult to find a good time to pull the trigger--both to avoid suspicious phone calls and rule 4 violations. 5:30 alarm from here on out...

First day back

And I caught a skunk. Yay.

Summer total is now 3 skunks and 5 raccoons.



Wow. Either we've gotten a goodly amount of rain here while I was gone to make it so green, or that day and a half in Wyoming was far too long a time...


Pretty neat, just like when you come into Montana over Monida Pass and it opens up into a real live "big sky," when you come into Colorado on WY230, you come from kinda high plains and hills into awith 360° view of mountains all around.

So now I'm in the right state, just have to keep everything in its correct upright position for another couple hours...

Hey, I have real internet access again!

That means that I can find a weird song for you:

I will be hitting the road here pretty soon, though I think the drive today is supposed to be only 4-5 hours, which is a pleasant stroll compared to everything else I've been doing lately. Soon, back to real life!


College Town

Hit Laramie after a good 8 1/2 hour drive and found my brother. He's in an old old old townhouse (with five other guys from his cadre in the honors program) that has been rented out to college students for at least 25 years. Think: five hyper really smart guys with internet access and order forms for 5 dollar grab bags from in a big old falling apart house. This evening they were messing around with something that it turns out is a flash heater from a coffee maker, but that will melt itself down into a pile of slagged aluminum (through a cardboard box, both sides, of course), then tried to re-melt it into a desk ornament, but in the process made the lights in the neighborhood flicker and sparks explode across the front porch, just like the movies. So when my mother asks how my brother it's doing, she's going to get a "good" and not much else! It's a good thing their school starts tomorrow...


So I'm through Greybull (where I once got food poisoning from the chinese restaurant... now tell me, why would you go into a chinese restaurant in Greybull, WY expecting anything else?) and am now taking a pit stop in Thermopolis. It's an interesting area, a land of oil wells, limestone mines, desert bluffs, hay fields, and sugar beets, of all things. Probably a third of the way to Laramie... have gas, will travel!

On the road again

To Laramie from where I am is about an 8 hour drive, if I stay off of the absolutely most horrible stretch of interstate within 800 miles. Little state roads are more interesting anyway.

Here we go!


Montana Weddings

Overheard at the pre-wedding preparations:

Bride's mother: "(Dad), do you have the wedding cake stand?"

Bride's father: "No, but I brought one of my chainsaws." [goes to start cutting up a log to make a cake stand]

Pretension free weddings are the best kind!


Go east, young man, go east

My time in the mountains of western Montana are coming to a close. Time to head east, Billings-way, for the second wedding, and then home.



Dagum hawks keep screeching over my head and scaring away the gophers. Oh well, it's still nice to sit out in the shade of a hay bale and enjoy the world going by.



So the weirdest thing just happened. It's kinda sad, too. One of my professors of Mechanical Engineering who was a pilot just crashed his plane and died, while I was visiting Butte. He was a good guy, maybe a little lenient when it came to lectures, but always willing to explain stuff outside of class. I can't get over that he did this while I was in town.


Small consumer good terrorism

Hit up a few of the local places--including the local sporting goods store multiple times--in the past couple days. So far I've picked up:

An air filter for the truck, as all the places back home were sold out of the size I need.
A snappy new shirt--can never have too many.
A way on sale backpacking tent and footprint, something I've been looking for for the past two years.
Another box of 38 special, in the hopes that my heel will heal enough to go up into the hills for a good shooting session.
A new set of ear bud headphones to replace my 5 year old pair, just starting to glitch out, that came with my mp3 player (and have since gone through the wash 3 times and the dryer twice). Man, I love those things and hate to see them go.

That's it so far, but there will probably be more. I need to tally up everything and see how much I ticked of the vice president saved in sales tax.


A Duck Song!

Now you'll be singing it all day long!


Yesterday's Wedding

Lovely location, right at Clark Canyon Reservoir, lovely ceremony, outdoors, right under the lovely sunny Montana sky, and a lovely couple.

And five (5!) different kinds of wedding cake.  A good time was had by all!

And this morning my church service is going to be out in the park (allowing the fickle Rocky Mountain weather), followed by a picknick potluck, and, I'm sure, more fun is going to be had by all. 

P.S.--my word check has neither "picknick" nor "potluck" in it, and it makes me very sad.


Check out what just came out of my heel

No, not the quarter. That would have really hurt. The little wood thing--can't decide if it is a sliver of some sort or maybe a grass seed. But I gave the swollen ankle another good squeeze, and POP, out it came. It was kind of embarrassing to be at the (admittedly low-key) wedding today with my stupid plastic clogs, because they don't rub on the back of my foot.  So now I can hopefully heel up (hee hee, it's a pun!)  and wear real shoes, or at least, real sandals, for the rest of my vacation.

On my person

Never really done one of those "what's in his pocketses, precious?" posts, so I thought I'd throw one up this morning.

That is everything I had on my person yesterday as I drove.  Kershaw pocket knife, 642, XD9 (I had both on because I was really worried about encountering terrible riots amongst those thuggish young Mormons in UT and ID), keys on belt hanger thingy, hackey sack (never know), Swiss army watch, 8gb flash drive, leatherman, crumpled receipt, little composition notebook, what is that--about 8 cents, a bandaid, wallet, chapstick, speedstrip, beltman belt, earplugs, rubber bands, lighter, matches in waterproof container (went through the wash once so I know it's waterproof), vaseline in a little tube thing, dental floss, the little pouch I made to keep random stuff in, cell phone, and a OD bandanna.  All in some cargo shorts.  I should have also included my sunglasses, but I left them out in the truck.

Pretty sure you could pick any half of those things and I'd still be on some sort of FBI watch list.

And I was able to sit comfortably all day in a vehicle going about 75 mph (except for the section of interstate in ID where there was a wreck involving a semi truck hauling propane and they closed all lanes and routed traffic onto little country back roads and then a bus stalled out on a hill and turned that into a 1-lane situation.  And speaking of that, what do you make out of this sign I saw on the backroads of Idaho: 

"Deaf Person Area"? That's great! Ummm... what am I supposed to do with this information?  But I digress).

So now the trick is going to be trying to get all that into some "nice" khaki pants that don't have cargo pockets (I don't understand how they can be nice pants when they don't have cargo pockets) and a tucked in shirt for the wedding this afternoon.  I may have to forgo the XD and some other little things.  But we're in MT, and the happy couple had a picture of them on a dirt bike posed with their pistols for the wedding invitation, so there will probably be backup if the riots start in backcountry MT. 

So, off I go!

Always knew Saruman was a Trolololer

Again, not sure if this counts as music or not...


693.1 miles, and ten more to go

Made it through Idaho, with nary a hiccup. Monida pass is so much nicer when the roads aren't icy and th visibility is greater than 10 yards. And then you come over the top of the divide into Montana, and everything just opens up--it sounds corny but it really lives up to the "Big Sky" slogan. Well, ten more miles out to the ranch, and I'll be done for the day!


Ahhh... Idaho Falls, my old nemesis. We meet again. THIS TIME I WILL NOT BE STOPPED!


About to hit Salt Lake City, the land of Larry Correia and Bob G, of the Mormons and the 1911, and most of all, the land of Perpetual Smog and Construction. Wish me luck...

Tax Question

I have a question: Does it make me a terrorist © that I am planning on purchasing several small consumer items while in Montana, where there is no sales tax?

Hitting the Road (Hopefully) (Not Literally)

 I'm hopefully about to head up to Montana, here, assuming I'm not stopped by my heel (after I took that picture it swelled up and turned a nice, tender, red, then oozed a little pus, but this morning it feels pretty good).  But, before I go, I have a question to ask you, the reader (or you, the googlebot, who I think visits more often, actually).

On a week-long visit to the cold north, is it possible to be too prepared?  I think it is.  For example, I'm not packing my passport.  In the five years I lived in MT, I never once made it past the border, so I think that bringing it along would just be a good way to misplace it.  On the other hand, I am bringing 4 guns and at least 1000 rounds of 9mm, and I hear that invading armies don't usually bother with the niceties of border stations...

Flutes! All sorts!

I gather this is actually an advertisement for a guy who makes flutes, but still, it's hilarious.

Not sure if it should go in the "music" category or the "trolling the interwebs" category. Definitely gets a "Random" though.



First eggs from the young chickens.

First corn from our garden.

First peaches from the little fruit stand.

It's a week of firsts!

Instant CSI

Just add sunglasses!

My brother said "Looks like I've found a [link] to murder."


I Feel Like I'm Achilles

A wounded heel may not be my demise, but for such a little thing it sure hurts.  I'm limping and wincing every step.  And the kicker is I have no idea where I picked it up.

Added--and the other kicker is that I'm having to wear my stupid plastic shoes to work today (name brand that rhymes with "socks")(don't judge me, they are great for gardening), since they're the only ones I have that don't touch the sore part.  How embarrassing.

The ants come marching one by one...

...and then they trip my trap.  Seriously, I think the ants, which have been my primary customers in the raccoon trap smorgasbord, and who love love love the high in protein cat kibble I use as the standard bait, tried so hard to get the cat kibble out of the little dish I use that they moved it and bumped it into the trap tripper and tripped the trap.  At least, that's the only thing I can think of that would explain why the kibbles are gone but the hardened, glue-like leftover barbeque is still there.  I'm willing to entertain other theories, though.

Needless to say, ants don't stay trapped in a cage that has 1"x1" holes.

64, baby. 64

Legend of Zelda 64, that is.


Your interesting Reddit thread of the day

A 94 year old lady answers questions about, well, everything, really.

Anything from what life was like in the past to what kind of music she likes, to what she thinks of modern culture and gadgets. Be prepared to ignore the internet trolls and sift through it.

Really cool.

No Shiny Talking Heads Here

What MSNBC has here is an angry talking head:

Epic. Rant. I can't say I agree with everything (or most of anything) he says, but it is kinda amazing to see one of these people get angry like that.

Crazy Drums

Do you remember these guys?

Well, they're still at it:

I still think that guy's in the wrong band. He needs a wife beater and some eyeliner, and he'd be all set for death metal.



I don't think I've mentioned it, but I've got two weddings up in Montana next week, so I've ben trying to get my ducks in a row here in anticipation of a goodly sized road trip. Such as changing my oil (that I complained about) on Sunday. Now I'm sitting at the tire shop getting my tires checked and rotated. I think I might have a slow leak in the front driver side tire, but I know I don't want to deal with that at intestate speeds.

Anyway, Friday going north, Saturday wedding 1 at Clark Canyon Reservoir, then almost a week of goof off time, then wedding 2 in Boyd on the next Saturday, then head south, visiting my brother in WY and my friend in Golden, then West over the Divide and back home. Looking forward to a vacation.

Quote of the Day

"When you disarm the citizens and the police you don't get peace. You get anarchy."

Short, sweet, hard-hitting.  There are no utopias on planet Earth, and anyone who says they know how to make one is selling something.

Happy happy joy joy

No raccoon today!  I don't have to dig a hole!

So, apparently what doesn't work well for coon bait is old stale carrot cake.

Pretty Lights

Guess I'm in a techno mood today. These guys can sure put on a show.


Before and After

From Saturday.



Got those pop cans good. Won't be having any more problems with that infestation, at least.

Current Events/Future Events

WizardPC sums up the whole debt "crises" thing (with links! and l33t! you should read it!)

You know, a lot of the "conservative" pundits I've been reading have been guardedly optimistic of the plan--it may not be as much as we need but it's going in the right direction, or somesuch.  I guess I can see where they're coming from, but considering the whole proposal is, um, lacking somewhat in specifics, I don't really see what there is to be optimistic about.  Saying "We'll cut spending!" is not quite the same as, y'know, CUTTING SPENDING.

Speaking of spending, the ranch supply store had .22 on sale, so I bought another bulk pack.  Lead and brass are probably the safest investment you can make right now.  I've been killing coons, but so far we haven't had to try eating them. I don't doubt it's going to come to that, though.  Let's see: we've got the whole drug war/prohibition thing going on, now we just need another ten years of "great recession" (*gag*) and eating rock soup until a good world war can get our military industrial complex running enough that nothing our politicians do will drag down the economy (while the war goes on, at least)! 


A combination you never would have expected

Bass, bellydancing, and hipsters!

This. Is. Ridiculous. ANOTHER RACCOON?

Yes, I just caught another raccoon.  Up to three in the past week, which brings me to a total of 5 raccoons and 2 skunks for the summer.

Those skunks had better step up their game, or else they're going to fall too far behind to win it.


Homemade BBQ pulled pork

We had some leftover pork roast, so I whipped up some chunky BBQ sauce (basically barbeque that you don't bother making smooth, chopped onion and garlic fried in butter, some chopped tomatoes, herbs from the herb pot, chile powder, salt and pepper, mustard, brown sugar, and some red wine, cook it all down till it's delicious), fried up some hamburger buns left over from lunch yesterday, and stuck it on the plate with some pickled green beans and leftover potato salad.  Considering most of everything here is leftovers, I thought it turned out pretty darn good.

Thought for the day

Whichever Ford "engineer" who designed the placement for the oil filter on a 2002 F-150 should be tortured by changing it out himself every 3000-5000 miles for the lifetime of the vehicle. Except that sentence would probably be considered cruel and unusual.

Seriously. They must have assumed that everyone is a double-jointed midget with eyes on the end of their fingers.

That chore sucked.

More good coon bait

Caught another raccoon, this time using half a cob of sweet corn.

Total for the summer is now up to 4 raccoons and two skunks.

Now it's time to dig a hole. Unless someone out there wants a dead raccoon?


Musta been a slow news day

On the front page of today's newspaper: a story about a british teenager killed by a polar bear in Norway.

Why? Why is that on the front page? They couldn't find anything more important? The front page has been turned into the obituary section for foreigners who didn't even die in their own country?

They talk about the end of dead tree media, but it seems like our local newspaper is actively trying to render themselves irrelevant.

On today's agenda

Let's see. It's my Uncle's birthday, and some relatives are in town, so we're going to go down and visit. But currently the big Olathe Sweet Corn Festival is going on, so they may be there most of the day. I really have no interest in big hot festivals, even if there is free sweet corn, so while everyone on the western slope of Colorado is attempting to pack themselves into a singularity, I'll probably go out to my grandpa's back forty and try to introduce the prairie dogs to my 10/22. Then, I believe that homemade ice cream is on the agenda. Should be a pretty good day.

A memory song

How many days did I keep yelling at my brother to turn down his Lemon Demon songs...

Yes, I did yell at him to turn down his music. Apparently I have the soul of Clint Eastwood. 'Course, when I yell out the window at kids I don't say "Get offa my lawn!" I say "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING YOU STUPID MAROON!" (true story). So I'm at least breaking the stereotype a little bit.


Aw Crap.

I accidentally pressed the "mark all as read" button on Google Reader, and in the subsequent messing around I'm not sure if I got it working right. So this post is as much to see if my reader is working as anything.

And yes, I do subscribe to myself, why do you ask? Don't judge me.

Afternoon Thought

I've said it before, I believe, but I'm going to say it again, ok? Now, repeat after me: "ECONOMISTS. ARE. DUMB."

Even to my inexperienced eyes it's plain to see that most of them would make more sense if they smoked their own shi... rts. Um, yeah. Talk about a "least trusted profession."

Books of 2011: Monster Hunter Vendetta

What can I say--read it last year, but since I just read Alpha, I felt the need to go back and re-read it. It's almost been a year, after all, and I did read it very fast the last time. I think I read it twice as slowly this time.

I stand by what I said last time about the Monster Hunter Books: "Once again, [Larry] takes all of the horror movie cliches and fantasy fairy tale creatures, mashes them together with a group of badass goofballs who have all of the coolest toys, and purees it with a blender made out of explosives to serve you a piping-hot cocktail of pure awesome."

If you haven't read it, what's your problem?

Another concert in the park

This time the free concert had Los Lonely Boys, who are perhaps best known for this song, but I quite liked some of their new stuff.

This one was kinda funny:

Live, they were much louder, and very jam-bandy. Good stuff.


Going to court

Looks like I've been summoned for jury duty at the end of August. The last time I was summoned I had a good excuse; I was in Montana going to school. Should be a good time... I'm actually looking forward to it. Good to see what all this so called civic duty is about.

Books of 2011: 1636 The Saxony Uprising

I didn't want to read this book. After the last one, which really made me angry, I was going to stop wasting my time with this endless and frustrating series. But my mother checked it out from the library, and since it was just sitting there...

Anyway, it was much better than 1635 The Eastern Front, mainly because [SPOILER ALERT!} someone finally shoots Axel Oxenstierna. It wasn't such a hanging ending as the last one, which was nice. I still am not going to go out of my way to read any more of them, though--I feel like I have been abandoned as a casual reader who doesn't participate in the online/short story aspect of the Ring of Fire universe. Everything about it is becoming a TL:DR situation. I want some resolution, dagnabit!

I award it 8/10, for being better than the last one.

Ah the 80's

A simpler time. When even techno bands made videos with people who had too much hair.

...and videos with ice skating turtles, but that's beside the point.


A tiny tiny [working] airport model

Your "t-t-t-tooOO much! time on my haaaAAAnds" of the day--the Knuffingen Airport.

Coon Bait

What works good for coon bait is a leftover zucchini fritter.

Poor little things look so cute...almost makes me feel bad to be trapping them. Oh well, I'm a firm believer in unnatural selection.

And just for a tally of the summer, I'm now up to 3 raccoons and 2 skunks. And one dumb cat that I let go after being convinced that it had nothing to do with my dead chickens.

Another question

If I post this video... I racist, or giving free advertising?



At one of the local brewpubs--salmon fish and chips, a very good porter, and then walked next door to the gelato joint, and had a scoop of the cold stuff made with local plums.


A Random Question

So I was wondering--all you random people from the internet who happen to stumble upon this post, how many of you subscribe to a magazine (or magazines) of some sort, and what kind?  The only one that I subscribe to is the Smithsonian's Air and Space Magazine, because I am an airplane geek. I've been reading it since I was in elementary school.  I used to get Warbirds Magazine, too, but after I went away to college I found that I wasn't reading it enough to justify the cost.

My grandpa subscribes to National Geographic, which in my opinion has really dropped off in the quality department--I don't know how they can slip in global warming to every article, no matter the subject matter, but they sure do.  I like the pictures, but really the only thing it's good for anymore is that yellow ring makes a mighty fine target.

Anyway, that's my random question of the day.

I was reminded of this one after yesterday

Tam and Weer'd had a crazy scary Japanese music video the other day. It reminded me of this one:

I think mine is better(?) because it has a creepy Japanese clown in it with a bunch of young girls.

By the by, to any out there who wonder at how I find things like this, here's how you do it. Step 1, get really bored. Step 2, go to youtube. Step 3, type "worst music video ever" or something of that nature in the search bar. And, as they say on the internet, step 4 is (...) and step 5 is PROFIT!


Oh good, my skeleton is still inside my skin

So I'm just sitting here, blogging away (104 unread blog posts in Google Reader?  You people are killing me!), when suddenly a flash and a bang make me try to jump out of my skin.  Then the heavens opened and let loose the rains of war, or something, just like it always does in the cartoons (Lighting, Thunder, Rain, in that order, and that quickly).

I don't think I'm going to get to bed as long as my heart keeps beating this fast.  That was L-O-U-D...

Books of 2011: Monster Hunter Alpha

I read Larry Correia's latest MHI book, Monster Hunter Alpha, over the weekend.  We get to see Earl Harbinger away from his teams, in a small Northern Michigan town, dealing with an outbreak of the supernatural.  It was great, though I missed Owen and Milo and Skippy and all the rest.  And dammit now I need the next one to come out. And I think now I need to go back and re-read Vendetta.

9/10, with one dinged off for [redacted, spoiler].

Not even trying to play nice

Ah, Monday.  The day of the week that I always feel like shouldn't be that bad--you know, it's got a reputation, but that doesn't mean anything.  It could be a good day!

Nope.  Went to bed at 10:30, didn't get to sleep till after 1:00.  Woke up at 5:30 with sinuses all clogged up and a slight upset stomach.  Not enough to slow you down, just enough to make you uncomfortable.  Just enough to make you realize it's Monday, and Garfield was right.

And now it's time to go to work, where I'm sure the computer will cooperate and not bluescreen like it did last week, and Nero won't live up to its namesake's attitude like it seems to want to do...

So that's where baby sheep come from

I mean, it's not as creepy as Cyriak's "cows and cows and cows" one (which made my brother cry, no joke), but it's still pretty weird, right?